Ever since announcing their surprise reunion last Halloween, many fans have been expecting an imminent announcement of a new record. However, their reunion show came and went without so much of a premier of a new song (though Conventional Weapons classic ‘Kiss the Ring’ enjoyed its first live performance). That much might make sense, the band giving fans a highlight reel of their most iconic tracks, but with all the hype generated by My Chemical Romance’s recent promotional material, we’re still waiting with eager ears for a glimpse of a new album. Here are all the reasons we think one’s coming.
They’ve already released new music
While the music that plays in the background of the tantalising teaser vid ‘An Offering…’ hasn’t been released on streaming services and is by no means a guarantee of a new record, it’s a pretty damn big hint. That’s definitely Gerard chanting towards the end of the track, and it only makes sense that the rest of the band provided the instrumentation.
Glimpses of new music are seen in the short film ‘A summoning…‘ too, and while some of this are redacts of previous songs (the bass line in the party scene is that of ‘Vampires Will Never Hurt You’, other track teases seem to be brand new entirely. Are these glimpses of new songs? While for now it’s impossible to know for sure, it seems unlikely that My Chem would have spent time and money in the studio just to record music for a tour trailer, though in all honesty, being the theatrical band they are, we wouldn’t put it past them.
And while the music behind ‘An Offering…’ may not have been officially released elsewhere, Shazam now identifies it as a song by the band. Could this be confirmation that the track will make it on an upcoming album?
The Aesthetic is Too Strong to be Ignored
Perhaps one of the reasons why My Chemical Romance has always stood above their peers in cultural consciousness is the time and effort they spend in their iconography. While some bands prefer to maintain a specific house style, MCR’s new logos and aesthetics that came with each new ‘era’ of the band generated as much discussion and inspiration as the music itself. Lead singer Gerard Way has always been a visual artist as well as musician, after all, and the band have a firm grasp on how to create simple but evocative images that seem to encapsulate an entire aesthetic. A vampire hanging upside down, two blood-splattered lovers reaching for a kiss, a solitary skeleton in a marching band uniform, a neon spider against a desert sky.
Of course, a new logo or aesthetic isn’t necessarily a guarantee of new music. The band created new logos for the release of both their Conventional Weapons compilation album (just before their breakup) and the re-issue of The Black Parade, while a stripped-back font graced the cover of their Greatest Hits compilation.
But magick imagery has dominated the band’s promotional material since they announced their reunion, the announcement accompanied by a brand new logo resplendent with new symbols in which the number ‘5’ is conspicuously present. Fans will remember that ‘MCR5’ was the codename for the long-awaited successor to Danger Days, and the five-fingered hand right after the band’s initials in this new logo seems very on-the-nose. Accompanied with a prevalence of the Roman numeral ‘V’ (5) in the band’s announcements, many fans have taken this as confirmation that the band will indeed be releasing a new record.
The witchcraft imagery is particularly poignant not only because the band have never explored the theme before, but also because since the band’s breakup Gerard Way revealed that MCR5, which would have been called The Paper Kingdom, would have focused on a group of kids going into a forest to fight a witch. While we cannot be sure if Paper Kingdom will see the light of day just yet (the band might not want to revisit the album that broke them, and Way stated that they all thought the concept was too dark), it is undeniable that if the band do release a fifth studio record, it will centre on wicca and magick. Indeed, Way even teased a heavy song called ‘I Am The Hag’ back in 2018, but we’ve not heard anything about it since…
But even if The Paper Kingdom isn’t released now, it’s unlikely it will stay hidden forever. When Frank Iero, the band’s rhythm guitarist, announced the release of Conventional Weapons, MCR’s scrapped album recorded between The Black Parade and Danger Days, he wrote the compilation might tease ‘where the future of MCR might be heading.’ They broke up half a year later, and it is very likely that Iero knew they were on their last legs. Did Iero hope that the record they were then making would, despite the band’s difficulties, eventually be released?
The Fabulous Killjoys are Dead
At the end of the music video for ‘Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na),’ the first single from Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, the camera pans to a Black Parade uniform straddling a skeleton, being drowned by the desert sands.
The band’s previous era was dead, a clean break making way for new music.
The end of ‘A summoning…’ returns to this shot, but the camera pans further to reveal Danger Days uniforms in a similar state of decay. The old era has died, and My Chemical Romance KNOW that they’d be teasing fans unfairly at this point if a new era doesn’t follow. The skeleton masks and capes that graced ‘An Offering…’ might be a bit much too play in, but…
It Just Seems So Damn Obvious
My Chemical Romance has always gone the extra mile in terms of promoting their material, recognising that creating immersive worlds instead of albums, focusing on their image as much as their music, helps craft an irresistible multimedia creation which encourages repeated revisits. They’ve been bombastic and theatrical, lending a concept to each of their records to allow them to stretch beyond what’s normally expected from a rock record.
But no band should go through all of this effort – short movies, an entirely new aesthetic – just for a reunion tour. Some are saying new music won’t be coming soon as fans will be expecting the songs they grew up loving in the band’s upcoming shows, but the band’s recent promotional material seems to have been about looking to the future as much as embracing the past. The new magick aesthetic runs through ‘A summoning…’ as it catapults viewers through My Chem’s previous records, new music plays alongside glimpses of old hints, a sigil flashes up on screen like a potential new album cover.
My Chemical Romance might have always been a larger than life band, but even if they had decided to spend so much effort in promoting a reunion tour they know would have sold out anyway, they recognise that their fans have a habit of picking apart all of the symbols they reveal for meaning. And they wouldn’t be so cruel to tease us so overtly with no new music on the way – right? RIGHT?!
Featured Image ‘My Chemical Romance’ by Michael_Spencer on Flickr (licence)